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As the UK waits for news of the newest member of the Royal family, Belgium got a new King today. It was a day of spectacular pomp and pageantry, as King Phillipe took over from his father Albert, who has abdicated due to age and failing health.
ITV News reporter Helen Callaghan reports:
King Philippe I salutes the crowds in Belgium, succeeding his 79-year-old father Albert II following his formal abdication.
Belgium's seventh monarch took his oath in Belgium's three official languages - Dutch, French and German. His father abdicated following 20 years on the throne.
Belgium's former Crown Prince Philippe has become the seventh king in the country's 183-year-old history after his father Albert completed his pre-announced abdication.
Philippe, 53, ascends the throne in a nation which is split between a Dutch-speaking north, where some want to break free from Belgium, and a more pro-royal and pro-Belgian French-speaking south.
He took his oath in Belgium's three official languages - Dutch, French and German - in parliament after Albert signed a legislative act to step down, becoming the second Belgian monarch to do so.
Belgium has a new monarch after King Albert handed the throne to his son Philippe to end his 20-year reign.
Belgium's King Albert II will abdicate later today following a 20-year reign, handing over the throne to his son Philippe.
The 79-year-old King will sign away his rights as the largely ceremonial ruler of the kingdom in the presence of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.
After the morning ceremony at the royal palace, Philippe, 53, will take the king's oath before the nation's legislators at the Belgium's parliament.
Afterwards, the newly-crowned King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are expected to greet the crowds below in a balcony scene at the palace before fireworks end a slew of ceremonies marking the day.
Belgium's King Albert II has said he will abdicate and leave the throne to his son Philippe on 21st July.
In a televised address he said he now felt too old to carry out his duties properly: "I have reached my 80th year, and that's an age that not one of my predecessors has reached during the exercise of their functions.
"I can only observe that my age and my health do not allow me to properly carry out my functions as I would hope to."
Albert II, who has three children, ascended to the throne in 1993 when his childless brother Baudouin passed away.
The abdication is just six months after Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated in favour of her son Willem Alexander.
Latest ITV News reports
Belgium's King Albert II abdicated to make way for his son Philippe today after 20 years on the throne.